Oncology Rounds

The latest news and research on cancer care from the Oncology Roundtable.

Amid pushback, CMS delays start of Radiation Oncology Model

by Ashley Riley and Deirdre Saulet September 30, 2020

Update: Just one month after releasing the RO Model final rule, CMS announced on Wednesday, Oct. 21, that it intends to push the start date back to July 1, 2021 instead of January 1, 2021. This is in response to overwhelming feedback from stakeholders about the challenges of preparing to implement the RO Model with just three months' notice (amid a pandemic). CMS is currently going through the rulemaking process to formalize this change.

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Should you invest in remote second opinions for cancer care? Here are 4 reasons to consider it.

By Elysia Culver, Sponsored by
September 25, 2020

This blog post is sponsored by Purview. Advisory Board experts wrote the post, conducting the underlying research independently and objectively. Learn more

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What a groundbreaking study on liquid biopsies means for your cancer program

by Jacob Dingle and Emily Heuser September 18, 2020

Today's commercial applications for liquid biopsies are limited mainly to improving treatment selection for late-stage cancers. But that could be changing: The findings of a recent study bring the technology a step closer to the holy grail of cancer diagnostics—a pan-cancer screening test, capable of detecting multiple forms of cancer (especially those types that don't currently have screening tests) before symptoms would normally be reported.

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So far, Medicare's Oncology Care Model isn't saving money—or significantly improving care

by Lindsey Paul and Emily Heuser August 31, 2020

Last month, CMS' Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) released a preliminary evaluation of the Oncology Care Model (OCM), covering the first three performance periods with episodes beginning on July 1, 2016 through Jan. 1, 2018. As a reminder, the OCM is CMMI's first cancer-specific alternative payment model that aims to decrease Medicare spending while improving quality of care for cancer patients.

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4 keys to effectively communicating with cancer patients during Covid-19

by Jacob Dingle and Emily Heuser August 25, 2020

As Covid-19 spread across the country, cancer programs quickly reacted with operational and clinical changes to ensure they could continue treating immunocompromised patients as safely as possible. And while patients are generally more concerned about their cancer than they are of Covid-19, they are still often confused, scared, and anxious about entering medical facilities for screening and treatment.

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6 takeaways for cancer programs from Medicare's 2021 proposed rules

Ashley Riley , Emily Zuehlke Heuser August 11, 2020

With everything going on with Covid-19, you may have missed CMS' release of the 2021 Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (HOPPS) Proposed Rule last week. But don't worry—we've got you covered.

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Facing a backlog of cancer screenings? Here's how to dig out.

by Jacob Dingle and Emily Heuser July 13, 2020

To protect their patients and providers, and free up resources for the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, health systems across the United States have all but shut down their cancer screening services.

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Juggling workforce concerns in your cancer center? You're not alone.

by Aasheen Qadri and Emily Heuser July 1, 2020

Cancer programs are juggling rising patient volumes and increasingly specialized roles—both of which contribute to the rising demand for oncology providers. The oncology workforce, which with a median age of 51 years for practicing oncologists is already older than other specialties, faces unique challenges with staffing, capacity, and burnout that contribute to program leaders' concerns for future growth.

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